Thursday, October 13, 2016

Ayurvedic herbs can treat liver problem including Fatty liver, Hepatitis, Cirrhosis, Ascites and Jaundice

Kamalahar is enriched with various herbs proven to be very effective for the treatment of liver problems. It has Tecoma undulata, Phyllanthus urinaria, Embelia ribes, Taraxacum officinale, Nyctanthes arbortritis and Terminalia arjuna.

Tecoma undulata is a herb which is proven to have medicinal property that helps in curing liver diseases especially for the treatment of hepatitis. It is also used in curing urinary disorders, enlargement of spleen, gonorrhea and leucoderma. Seeds are used against abscess.

Phyllanthus urinaria has been used for centuries to promote healthy elimination of gallstones and kidney stones. It is also used for the treatment of liver disease especially hepatitis B. Phyllanthus urinaria primarily contains lignans (e.g. phyllanthine and hypophyllanthine), gallic acid, alkaloids, and bioflavonoids (e.g. quercetin). While it remains unknown as to which of these substances has an antiviral effect, researchers believe that this herb acts primarily on the liver. Other research has revealed other possible benefits like helping to soothe the liver, detoxification of the liver and kidneys, relief from pain and inflammation, reducing oxidative stress, and an ability to inhibit hepatitis B virus DNA replication. It is believed that the possible benefit that phyllanthus urinaria provides in cases of liver damage could be due to the plants anti-viral activity. In Ayurvedic medicine, Phyllanthus has been used for over 2000 years in India for many medicinal uses for those with liver disease including hepatitis.

Embelia ribes is quite beneficial in the treatment of liver ailments especially jaundice and also for strengthening the body. It also helps with gastric problem by either preventing formation of gas in the gastrointestinal tract or facilitates the expulsion of gas. It is also quite useful against tape-worms. It is believed to be useful against skin diseases, bronchitis, urinary discharges, Dyspepsia, hemicrania, worms in wounds etc.

Taraxacum officinale is believed to have a medicinal value, in particular against liver problems. It is also known to be a Diuretic and quite beneficial in the treatment of liver cirrhosis. It is also used in herbal medicines as a mild laxative, for increasing appetite, and for improving digestion. The milky latex has been used as a mosquito repellent and as a folk remedy to treat warts.

Nyctanthes arbortritis is known for its important place in Hindu mythology and this plant has many common names like Indian Night Jasmine. The flower, seeds and leaves of the plant are diuretic, antibacterial, anthelmintic, anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective, immunopotential, anti pyretic, antioxidant, anti fungal, anti-bilious, sedative and antifilarial. It is useful in the treatment of many diseases including liver disorder. Its extract has proven by researchers to have significant hepatoprotective activity, which is ability to prevent damage to the liver and also hepatoregenerative. The herb in combination with other herbs is quite beneficial in the treatment of hepatitis, cirrhosis, alcohol liver diseases and other liver disorders. Apart from liver disorder, the herb has been used in the treatment of affections of scalp, rheumatic joint pain, malaria, snakebite, bronchitis, sciatica, chronic fever, rheumatism, internal worm infections, high blood pressure, diabetes, piles and skin diseases. Some people have also used the herb in the treatment of cancer.

Terminalia arjuna is high in co-enzyme Q-10 and helps in the treatment of cirrhosis of liver and reduces blood pressure.The arjuna was introduced into Ayurveda as a treatment for heart disease by Vagbhata. It is traditionally prepared as a milk decoction. In the Ashtānga Hridayam, Vagbhata mentions arjuna in the treatment of wounds, hemorrhages and ulcers, applied topically as a powder.
The combination of these herbs is what makes Kamalahar very effective in the treatment of liver disorders including hepatitis, cirrhosis, fatty liver, ascites and jaundice.

Hepatitis A virus can cause fatal liver injury

It is an immediate, intrinsic response of the hepatitis A virus (HAV) infected cell that results in liver inflammation, a new study suggests.

Hepatitis researchers have long thought that immune cells sent by the body to attack virus-infected cells in the liver cause the acute liver injury associated with HAV and other hepatitis viruses.

The virus evokes a response in the infected cell that activates a pre-programmed cell death pathway.

In effect, the cell commits suicide, sacrificing itself along with the virus in an effort to save the host. This results in inflammation within the liver that we recognise as hepatitis.

Hepatitis A virus is a vaccine preventable form of infectious hepatitis. HAV is found worldwide and is transmitted through ingestion of food and water that is contaminated with the feces of an infected person.

Symptoms of hepatitis A include nausea, stomach pain, fever, sore throat, headache and diarrhea. People infected with HAV may not experience any symptoms, but shed the virus for two to four weeks.

During this period, an infected person can pass the virus to others. HAV does not cause chronic liver disease like hepatitis B and C viruses. But in rare cases, it can cause acute liver failure, which is often fatal.

For decades, researchers believed only primates - humans, chimpanzees and a few species of monkeys could be infected by HAV. However, researchers recently discovered the virus could jump species.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

World Obesity Day: Obesity can lead to many serious problem including Liver Disorder

Obesity is a major health challenge worldwide. Apart from known health hazards such as heart disease, diabetes, liver problem, it can also may ruin your social life, experts say.

India is home to the third-highest number of obese and overweight people, according to recent reports.

Obesity is categorised on the basis of BMI, which is defined as the body mass divided by the square of the body height and is universally expressed in units of kg/m2, resulting from mass in kilograms and height in metres.

Obesity is often associated with laziness and a sedentary lifestyle. Men who are obese tend to have lower levels of testosterone. Obesity is directly linked to hormonal imbalance and lower testosterone levels.

Also, obesity increases the risk of developing a number of serious health conditions, including coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, Type 2 diabetes, cancer, sleep apnea, gallstones, liver disorder, other heart disease and various types of cancer.

Obesity can lead to heart problems, breathing difficulties, joint problems and sudden cardiac death.

With a high risk of diabetes and high blood pressure, obesity may also take an emotional toll, as some may experience depression, feelings of social isolation, discrimination and an overall lower quality of life.

Another research which has come ahead of the World Obesity Day to be observed tomorrow warns that children around the world are putting on more pounds and kilos than ever before.

The World Obesity Federation said that up to 268 million children aged 5 - 17 may be overweight by 2025, with as many as 98 million falling into the obese category.

The potential consequences are grim by any measure with millions of the affected kids suffering from type 2 diabetes, hypertension and fat build up in their liver, it said.

Childhood obesity is just the saddening tip of an iceberg with WHO saying obesity has more than doubled since 1980.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Cancer Awareness Society hails Bihar Government's prohibition decision

People engaged in creating awareness about liver cancer hailed the Nitish Kumar government's decision on prohibition as "historic" which would have positive impact on the health of people.

A team of Cancer Awareness Society met the CM to support the October 2 notification enforcing prohibition in the state.

Two days after the Patna High Court quashed its order on prohibition, Bihar government on October 2 came out with a new law banning liquor with harsher provisions.

The Society team told Mr. Nitish Kumar that the World Health Assembly, the decision making body of WHO, had in 2010 taken a decision for controlling usage of alcohol of which India was one of the signatory, according to a statement of the Society.

Action was desired in this direction after being signatory to the decision. By fulfilling this, the Bihar government has initiated a historic step which deserves praise. The team told Kumar that they are with him in the campaign against alcohol.

The statement said about short term and long term medical effects of alcohol on consumer.

The short term effects included slurred speech, drowsiness, vomiting, diarrhea, breathing difficulties, anemia and blackouts.

The long term effects included unintentional injuries like alcohol poisoning, high blood pressure, stroke and heart related diseases, liver disease, sexual problem and cancer of liver, mouth and throat among others.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Jaundice and other Liver Disorder Outbreak in Dadar, Mumbai due to contaminated water

Health authorities raced to contain the jaundice outbreak at a Dadar colony after local news papers reported how contaminated water had sickened over 60 residents, some of whom face the prospect of liver failure.

A team of civic officials and health workers inspected the water supply of 80-year-old Palan Sojpal society through door-to-door checks, and distributed chlorine tablets and packets of oral rehydration salts. They switched off the supply from two pipes over suspicion that a leakage had led to tainted water.

The residents had been complaining about water that “smells like rotten eggs” since June, but the BMC blamed it on the society’s own faulty pipeline network. The civic body re-examined the issue with greater urgency and seriousness on Monday following news paper reports.

BMC officials have asked all families in the society to boil water before consumption. It seems the contamination has resulted from an internal problem: the colony’s sewer lines are choked.

It is believed that the issue of tainted water was restricted to the society and there had been no complaints from other localities in Dadar.

Around 200 families live in Palan Sojpal and currently, 50 families have at least one member who is suffering from jaundice. Between June and September, almost every family made a trip to the hospital because of hepatitis E, the virus that causes the disease.

The BMC earlier conducted two inspections at the society after multiple complaints. The residents replaced the pipelines that officials had blamed for tainted water, and also cleaned the society’s tanks. The steps had no effect and cases of Hepatitis E shot up. Though the civic body on Monday cut supply to two suspect pipes, some families fear it’s another misdiagnosis as some houses are still getting water that smells bad and even has worms. 

Saturday, October 8, 2016

New method of predicting risk of developing severe liver disease could ensure patients receive early life-saving medical intervention

Using information collected in a liver biopsy study, researchers have developed a method of determining the onset of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) through the analysis of lipids, metabolites and clinical markers in blood. The new non-invasive method of predicting the risk of developing a severe liver disease could ensure that patients receive early and potentially life-saving medical intervention before irreversible damage is done. NASH is the most extreme form of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a range of conditions caused by a build-up of fat in the liver. With NASH, inflammation of the liver damages the cells, potentially causing scarring and cirrhosis. Currently, the diagnosis of NASH can only be done with a liver biopsy, an invasive and costly procedure. The new research could lead to a simple blood test that could catch the onset of NASH before inflammation damages the liver. Many people with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis do not have symptoms and are not aware they are developing a serious liver problem. As such, diagnosis often comes after irreversible damage is done.

Quicker and less invasive method of diagnosis could mean that more people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease could be easily tested to determine whether they are progressing to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, the more severe form of the disease. A healthy liver should contain little or no fat. It’s estimated that around 20 percent of people in the UK have early stages of NAFLD where there are small amounts of fat in their liver. NASH is estimated to affect up to five percent of the UK population and is now considered to be one of the main causes of cirrhosis, a condition where irregular bumps replace the smooth liver tissue, making it harder and decreasing the amount of healthy cells to support normal functions. This can lead to complete liver failure. Common risk factors for both NAFLD and NASH are obesity, lack of physical exercise and insulin resistance. But if detected and managed at an early stage, it’s possible to stop both NAFLD and NASH from getting worse. The new method of NASH diagnosis will undergo further investigation with a view to developing a simple blood test that can be used by clinicians to provide effective medical care for patients at high risk of the disease.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Recurring problem in Delhi - Chikungunya, dengue, malaria - When will we learn our lesson

Each year during rainy season and weeks after it, Delhi turns into a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Umpteenth people get affected and hospitals get swarmed with chikungunya, dengue and malaria patients. The problem is that these mosquito-borne diseases are difficult to diagnose, given the similar symptoms they have with fever being a prominent part.

If these key differences are not detected and treated on time, the diseases could definitely prove hazardous.

This disease is caused by the transmission of plasmodium — a parasitic protozoa — into the body’s system. There are two types of plasmodium species that are common in India — Vivax and Falciparum, which are transmitted into the human bodies through the spit of Anopheles mosquitoes. The Anopheles mosquitoes bite usually during the day.

The most common symptom of Malaria is high-grade fever. But, the fever does not stay at a stretch and is intermittent i.e. comes over a period of two-three days. The fever is accompanied with chills and rigor. In severe cases, the patient suffers from constipation, disorientation (in the case of cerebral malaria) and kidney dysfunction.

This viral disease is transmitted to human bodies through the bite of female Aedes mosquitoes and from an infected human to another, in cases of blood transfusion. The dengue causing mosquitoes usually bite during the night.

The patient suffers from fever for the initial three-four days, followed by body pain. Retro-orbital pain ie. pain behind the eyes is also common. In acute cases, decreased urine output, respiratory difficulties and increased bleeding tendencies also accompany the usual symptoms.

Chikungunya is caused by the same female Aedes mosquitoes that cause dengue. This ailment mostly affects the muscle cells of the body.

The prominent symptoms of Chikungunya include excessive body pain or myalgia, swelling in the joints and rashes across the body. The body pain, in this case is more severe than that in dengue cases.

In chikungunya, joints pain is more pronounced, while in cases of dengue, patients might even feel retro-orbital pain, that is, pain behind the eyes. Other than this, the symptoms for both mosquito-borne diseases are the same.


While for Malaria, anti-malarial drugs like chloroquine and artemisinin are available, dengue and chikungunya are viral diseases and do not have treatment drugs as such. The treatment for dengue and chikungunya is symptomatic and therefore, doctors wait for the symptoms to become evident in the body.

Chikungunya and dengue patients are given paracetamol for the fever to subside, but not in the first three days. Since both the diseases have similar symptoms, giving any kind of medicines, including painkillers in the first two-three days is fatal. It could lead to bleeding, in some cases. The patients are prone to dehydration and therefore, are advised to increase their intake of fluids.

Some of the prevention method that people can take are using the good old mosquito nets during night. One of the key things is to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes because there are no medical ways or vaccines to avoid prevention of these diseases. Wear clothes that cover you fully and apply mosquito-repellent creams. As a community, to prevent such diseases, ensure that there is no water stagnation in the surroundings, because they become excellent breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Also, make sure that your living area and surroundings are hygienic and clean. Change the water in room coolers at least once a week.